Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thoughtful About . . . Creator

This past weekend I just began my rotation teaching the kids at my church (being a small church, we alternate who's in with them so that the same person doesn't have the responsibility all the time). I decided to start a 36-week course aimed at tweens and teens (our kids range from 9-13), and it goes through Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each in a 12-week course that focuses on a lot of tenets of faith, as they fall under the different headings. 

This first week, the focus was on God the Father as Creator.

Now, this is something the kids have studied so many times that they kinda start to groan when you say that's the topic of the day, LOL. They know Genesis. They've got it this way, that way, and the next way too. My kids have had homeschool classes on it. It's been covered by teacher after teacher at church. But this was a different take on it.

This was focused on why they should care that God is the Creator. What it really means for them. And for those who don't profess to faith. 

As I was preparing the lesson, an analogy struck me that I was pretty darn excited about, as it seems really perfect for this video-gaming generation. So I figured I'd lay it out here.

God is Creator. Even people who aren't Christians, people who don't really know what they believe, generally grant this. Obviously atheists don't, but I daresay if you go up to most people on the street and say, "Hey, do you think there's a Being who created the universe?" they'd say, "Yeah, probably. Sure."

So with that as a premise, we move into our video game analogy--and with a video game, there's obviously no debate about if, right? Obviously there's a creator.

Well, a month or two ago, my 10-year-old, video-game-happy son called me in to the living room. "Mama, you've got to see this! Watch! It's a video of the creator of the game playing this level. He does it perfectly."

It was true--and a lot of fun to watch. Because the game creator knew all the tricks, obviously. Every hidden door. Every power-up. He could get every coin, kill every boss, hit every ledge just right. He not only got the maximum number of points the level would allow, he did it in a time way faster than we ever could, skipping half those coins.

Because he knew that game with the perfect, intimate knowledge that only a creator can have.

Now, let's say this video game was serious business. Fun, yes, but maybe you'd entered a competition. You were at one of those big gaming conventions, and you had one of the seats. There was a big prize at stake. Huge money, maybe. The person with the highest score at the end of the day would win. Serious stuff, not just a play for fun in your living room sort of thing. High stakes. (Kinda like life.)

Then let's say that the creator showed up at the convention and announced to all the players, "Hey, I'm having a seminar at 10:00. Everyone's welcome. I'm going to show you guys all the tricks, all the hidden doors, what to watch out for, and how to get the highest score possible."

You'd be an idiot not to go, right? Because he's the creator. He knows it all. And he's offering to share that knowledge.

But not everyone goes. Some because they think they know better than him. Some because they say it won't be as fun if they do. Some because it'll cramp their style. Maybe some even doubt that this guy is really the creator--probably just some phony trying to get in their heads and psych them out.

But the people that go--they come away with some amazing knowledge on how to play the game, don't they? Maybe it'll take a little practice to figure it all out. Maybe sometimes, when they try that difficult maneuver he showed them, they mess up. Maybe sometimes they doubt they can really do it. But the creator ends up on the convention floor, at the competition. He's there, whispering advice and instructions along the way. He's invested. He wants people to succeed, and to have fun doing it.

I'm sure you see the analogy. If life, this world, is the video game, then God is the ultimate creator. He knows all the ins-and-outs. Where every boss hides, the secrets to bringing them down. He knows the secret doors and power-ups. He can, and did, play this game perfectly, as Jesus. And He offers His knowledge, His guidance, to everyone.

But not everyone cares. Not everyone wants to listen. It'll hamper their style, and it sure won't be as much fun, right?

Um...I don't know about you, but I don't find failing at a video game much fun. I find it frustrating. I'd rather know how to do something then keep banging my head against the pixelated wall. Same goes in life. I like the guidance, thank you. I like knowing that the Creator has my back and is there whispering in my ear, "This way. Don't forget about that right there. Now you want to pause. Now it's time to go."

If you're going to grant the Creator...why would you not listen to Him? At least, if your goal is to succeed. You'd listen to him on the game convention floor, right?

So let's listen to Him in life too. Common sense. Especially when the stakes are so much higher than a few thousand dollars.


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